New Delhi/Mumbai: Muslim political and community leaders cutting across the party lines on Wednesday slammed Husain Dalwai, the only Muslim Congress MP from Maharashtra, for his controversial statement on entry of non-Muslims in Makkah - one of the three holiest places for Muslims.
Congress MLA Asif Shaikh, Malegaon Congress President Shaikh Rasheed, former MLA and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Malegaon unit chief Mufti Ismael and over half a dozen organisations criticised Husain Dalwai, accusing him of providing fodder to Hindutva extremists.
"Husain Dalwai made the controversial and provocative statement at the time when the country is debating the rising intolerance and violence against the minorities. His remarks will provide fodder to communal forces and further aggravate the already tense situation", Yusuf Ilyas, Raees Rizvi and other members of Raza Academy Malegaon said in a joint statement.
Accusing Dalwai of dancing on the tunes of the BJP and Hindutva communal forces, Congress MLA Asif Shaikh said he had dashed a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Maharashtra Congress Chief Ashok Chavan with a demand to sack Dalwai from the party.
Ex-MLA and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Malegaon unit chief Mufti Ismael said Husain Dalwai's statement is the extension of 'intolerant Hindutva design' to mentally torture the minorities.
He also said that the publication of blasphemous caricature in Lokmat which is owned by Congress leader Darda, P. Chidambaram's statement on Salman Rushdie's book and Dalwai's Satyagrah cannot be mere coincidence.
Asserting that not allowing non-Muslims in Holy Mosque of Makkah is wrong, Congress MP Husain Dalwai on Tuesday said he will launch a 'Satyagraha' to do away with the practice.
Participating in the ongoing discussion on 'Commitment to Constitution' as part of 125th birth anniversary celebration of Dr B R Ambedkar in the Rajya Sabha, Dalwai said once he was told that Muslims were not allowed to enter Lord Jagannath Temple.
"I wanted to visit Jagannath temple. I got up in the morning, took bath and was about to leave my place for darshan that someone told me that Muslims cannot go there. I felt bad and sad," Dalwai said.
In the same breath, he mentioned that even in Makkah, non-Muslims cannot go there and that was absolutely wrong.
"I will do 'Satyagraha' for allowing non-Muslims in Makkah", he vowed.
He said India is a country where all the Muslims can walk freely and live with pride, which is the biggest achievement of country's Constitution.